NEW DELHI: In the case of Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India & Ors. The Delhi High Court makes some significant marks with respect to the Right to Religion and Religious Conversion which is given under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution.
The Bench headed by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela makes remarks after hearing a PIL filed by Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay. The Petitioner is seeking directions from the Centre and Delhi government to frame laws prohibiting forced religious conversions.
The Bench asked for a valid reason for the respected Prayer, further the Bench observed that the petition does not mention any instance of forced religious conversion. “here is no material basis on record. No document, no instance. You have given three Supreme Court judgments and the rest is your averment”
As per the plea, the source of averments made is personal knowledge, Judgment of the Supreme Court and High Court, Constitution Assembly Debates, and the information collected from government websites.
It states that there is not even one district that is free of black magic, superstition, and religious conversion by “the carrot and the stick” and “by hook and crook”. Incidents of massive religious conversion are being reported every day as the religious conversion is continued by intimidating, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits and by using the black magic, superstition, and miracles.
Further, the plea adds – it’s a high time as mass groups are carrying out mass conversions in rural areas. The mass conversion of socially and economically underprivileged people, particularly those belonging to SC-ST is on the steep rise. The foreign-funded organizations operate very smoothly targeting the socially-economically underprivileged sections particularly belonging to the SC-ST community.
The next date of hearing is on 25th June. ASG Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Centre, submitted that the petition raises an important issue.
“You have brought the issue to the notice of the Centre. It is for them to take action. So far as this Court is concerned, firstly we have to be satisfied that it warrants notice,” Bench said.